Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2014 Contents B7
June 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Last Sunday, Roman Catholics world over
observed the 48th edition of World Com-
munications Day (WCD). It is always
observed on the Feast of the Ascension of
It is the day when Catholics are asked to
reflect on the necessity of fulfilling the com-
mand of Jesus to preach the good news of the
gospel to the whole world using the various
forms of the media which are always on the
lookout for news relating to every aspect of
the life of the church and its people.
At last year s observation, Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI in his message stated that effec-
tive Christian witness was not about bom-
barding people with religious messages, but
about our willingness to be available to others
"by patiently and respectfully engaging their
questions and their doubts as they advance
in their search for the truth and the meaning
of human existence."
This year, in his first WCD message, Pope
Francis writes, "We have to be able to dialogue
with the men and women of today, to under-
stand their expectations, doubts and hopes,
and to bring them the gospel, Jesus Christ
himself, God incarnate, who died and rose to
free us from sin and death. We are challenged
to be people of depth, attentive to what is
happening around us, and spiritually alert.
"To dialogue," Pope Francis continued,
"means to believe the other has something
worthwhile to say and to entertain his or her
point of view and perspective. Engaging in
dialogue does not mean renouncing our own
ideas and traditions, but the claim that they
alone are valid or absolute."
The Pope maintains that in today s world
"media can help us feel closer to one another,
creating a sense of the unity of the human
family, which can in turn inspire solidarity
and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified
life for all. Good communication helps us to
grow closer, to know one another better, and
ultimately to grow in unity.
"The walls which divide us," continued Pope
Francis, "can be broken down only if we are
prepared to listen and learn from one another.
We need to resolve our differences through
forms of dialogue which help us grow in under-
standing and mutual respect."
Touching on the theme of this year s WCD
message---A Culture of Encounter---the Pope
stated that this demanded that we be ready
not only to give, but also to receive. "Media
can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays
when the networks of human communication
have made unprecedented advances. The Inter-
net in particular, offers immense possibilities
for encounter and solidarity. This is something
truly good, a gift from God."
Pope Francis understands that problems
relative to the technology exist. He said, "The
speed with which information is communi-
cated exceeds our capacity for reflection and
judgment, and this does not make for more
balanced and proper forms of self-expression."
He agreed that while there are real drawbacks
in the digital world, they did not justify the
rejection of social media.
He said, "They remind us that communi-
cation is ultimately a human rather than a
The Pope added, "People only express them-
selves fully when they are not merely tolerated,
but know they are truly accepted. If we are
genuinely attentive in listening to others, we
will learn to look at the world with different
eyes and come to appreciate the richness of
human experience as manifested in different
cultures and traditions.
"We will also learn to appreciate more fully
the important values inspired by Christianity,
such as the vision of the human person, the
nature of marriage and the family; the proper
distinction between religious and political
spheres, the principles of solidarity and sub-
sidiarity and many others," Pope Francis added.
• Vernon Khelawan is media relations
officer of Catholic Media Services Ltd (Cam-
sel), the official communications arm of the
Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain. Its offices are
located at 31 Independence Square. Tele-
Pope: Dialogue with men and women of today
Links Archive June 7th 2014 June 9th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page